This I believe…

Jacqueline - Los Angeles, California
Entered on June 12, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in who I am. I believe in what I am capable of doing. I know that if I put my mind in to something I can do it, but I should never take my belief for granted because it will not last. I believe that every thing you do in life pays back either good or bad. I know this because I have learned this the tough way. I have always believed, but believing does not do any good unless one takes action. Back when I was small I would believe that things would happen or that they were going to be accomplished just magically, but they are not! I had to do something in order for my belief to develop into what I wanted to, and only I would be able to take it as far as I wanted. When people would speak about a certain belief that I would not agree with I would just stay quiet and not say a single word about what I thought. Now I know that if I believe in something I have to put that belief into action and let others know about it.

I have zero tolerance on racism but when I was smaller I would not say anything about how I thought it was wrong and how it harms the people. A few years ago, after the rallies at a local park in Los Angeles, MacArthur Park, I put my belief into action. I did not see the opportunity coming, but as I took the Metro Rapid bus 754 and moved to the rear of the bus a white American offered a seat next to him. I felt his offer was polite, but that politeness turned into an interrogation and accusations about what Hispanics had done in the rallies. He started by pointing at his news paper which had a Hispanic male holding up a paper saying “We are America”, asking me why would we say that if we were not from the United States. With a firm response I answered, “Look Sir we do not have to be from the United States in order to be considered Americans. All people from North and South America have the right to consider themselves Americans.” I did not realize that this had turned into an argument and others were listening to us. But no one would step up like I did to defend what was true and what many others believe as well. I began to feel uncomfortable, but I was saved by an other white American who acted like he was one of my old teachers and changed the subject. As I got off the bus I told him “Thanks!” and he said “ No problem ,I saw you needed some help there”. I truly did, but it wasn’t until then that I noticed what standing up for my beliefs was like and I realized that this is the reason why so many people suffer from discrimination. They do not stand up for what they believe. But that day, on the Metro Rapid bus I stood up for my people, my parents, and for myself and finally let out what I believed.